Busted Halo
feature: entertainment & lifestyle
March 6th, 2009

Giving Up On Giving Up?



Our Fast, Pray, Give calendar is getting some big time attention! National Public Radio’s website, npr.org, asked BustdHalo’s editor-in-chief Bill McGarvey to write a commentary on alternative Lenten fasting practices. They’ve asked us our readers to visit their site and add their comments. The more comments/discussion the piece generates the greater the chance it has of being picked up for NPR radio’s All Things Considered. So click through to here and leave a comment…remember, keep it clean!


mcgbhnprinsideFirst it was chocolate. Then came foul language. And, finally, there was the earnest commitment to abstain from any “off-color” humor. The litany of things I’ve personally tried to “give up” for Lent is a long and undistinguished list of near misses and outright failures.

But then again, personal piety was never my strong suit. I can vividly recall, as a 10-year old, my 12-year-old neighbor telling me that she had given up television for Lent. Television! I remember standing in her house in awe and slightly unsure of whether I should be admiring her saintliness or horrified by her apparent insanity. Perhaps this was some sort of spiritual maturity beyond my 10-year-old soul? Some religious discipline only understood by much older and wiser 12-year-olds?

It wasn’t.

Read the full piece here

The Author : Bill McGarvey
Bill McGarvey is co-author of Busted Halo’s Freshman Survival Guide. Bill was editor-in-chief of Busted Halo for six year. In addition to having written extensively on the topics of culture and faith for NPR, Commonweal, America, The Tablet (in London), Factual (Spain), Time Out New York, and Book magazine, McGarvey is a singer/songwriter whose music has been critically acclaimed by the New York Times, Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Billboard and Performing Songwriter. You can follow him at his website billmcgarvey.com or on Facebook.com/billmcgarvey
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Mary Ann

    I’m a 66 year-old, retired parish secretary who normally attends daily Mass followed by one hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

    In September 2008, my husband of 46 years was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. This year for Lent, I gave up giving up anything and have devoted myself totally to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the care of my husband.

    Helping my husband carry this tremendous cross has brought be closer to Christ than any other Lenten sacrifice I have made.

    It will be a beautiful Easter.

  • James Martin, SJ

    Congratulations on a great piece! A friend of mine recently told me that she was “fasting” from bitterness and resentment. “Try it,” she said. “Most of us would feel like we’re starving!”
    Jim Martin

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